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Michigan’s Congressional members call on Russia to release Paul Whelan

Russia has granted U.S. consular officials access to Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen detained in Russia on suspicion of spying. Whelan appears here in a photo provided by the Whelan family.
Russia has granted U.S. consular officials access to Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen detained in Russia on suspicion of spying. Whelan appears here in a photo provided by the Whelan family.

Members of Michigan’s Congressional renewed their call today for Russia to release a Novi native imprisoned on charges of espionage.

A Russian court convicted Michigan native Paul Whelan of possessing classified information that he claims he thought were vacation photos.

U.S. officials say Russia never presented any hard evidence against Whelan.

And his potential release seemed a likely casualty of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine

But now the U-S and Russia have agreed on a prisoner exchange, just one involving another American held by Moscow.

Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg says Whelan’s case must not be forgotten.

“The House must send an unequivocal message to the Kremlin. It is time to end the maltreatment of Paul Whelan.”

President Biden vows the U.S. will bring Whelan home.

But Whelan’s family say they fear the situation could follow a similar path to what’s happened in Iran, where one American was released a few years ago, while two others have been detained there since 2015.